Editorial: Waiting for the President’s ire

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Friday, April 4, 2014


LAST April 2, Davao Oriental Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon intimated that power has finally been restored in all of the Typhoon Pablo-affected areas as of the day before (April 1).

That’s good. After one year and four months, electrification of the barangays far from the highway was finally been restored. Bravo.

Except that… Did it really need the prompting and scolding by the President just to get it done?

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During the visit of President Benigno Simon C. Aquino III in Cateel, Davao Oriental last February 24, Gov. Malanyaon, in her updates of the progress of restorative work in the towns of Baganga, Cateel, and Boston in her province, which were the worst-hit by typhoon Pablo on December 4, 2012, she mentioned that 24 out of 42 barangays in the three towns still have no supply of power since the typhoon.

This earned some acid remarks from the President directed to energy officials. One month and one week later, voila, power was restored in the 24 barangays.

It’s interesting how rural electrification can be restored within just over a month and yet will have to wait for a year and four months for work to start.

Does it really need the President’s imprimatur to get things going on the department level when these are already within this department’s mandate?

This is something that the Aquino administration has to ponder on: How often should they be treated like recalcitrant children just to get things going?

This is not the first time. It was worse on the days following typhoon Yolanda in Eastern Visayas, when the government’s incompetence was really displayed to the fore.

It’s all quiet now, so far. But maybe, the stories are just waiting to explode on their faces again a year and a half later. With a track record of having left unattended a very valuable task in an area that was throttled to near-death by a natural calamity, it will not be surprising if again, the Department of Energy will be exposed as sleeping on its job once the full inventory of what has been done and what yet needs to be done is already laid out for all to see.

But just on a sheer chance of this message getting across, we hope it will not take another reprimand from the President just to ensure that survivors need no longer to suffer much longer.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on April 05, 2014.

Opinion

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